Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Live Forever. Die Tomorrow.

"Live your material life like you will live forever; live your spiritual life as though you will die tomorrow."
 - Unknown

Tomorrow I leave for India.

It was around 5pm this evening when I pressed "Send" on my last school assignment of the Fall 2010 semester. I was a week early. In every area of my life, I have striven to tie up all loose ends by December 8th. I even registered for classes for next semester, and I have my weekly schedule mapped out.

But this evening, I've put it all aside for a month. I bundled up in the bitingly cold weather and drove over to the temple for Sayana Arati to bid goodnight to Radhe Shyam one last time. Only two or three people were there when the curtains gently swooshed open, and I sang for Them.

I prayed and prayed to Radhe Shyam to please protect my heart on this voyage to India - I prayed that I would not be a tourist, that I would not socialize, and - because this is one of my greatest challenges - I prayed that I would gain even a morsel of appreciation for the holy dham.

And then I meditated on the above opening quote - I have planned out my material life... so now how do I live my spiritual life?

After all, like a countdown, my last day in this world will come. On the eve of my departure from New Raman Reti as I sang for Radhe Shyam, I imagined that I would never return. I imagined that this would be the last time I would ever get to offer my obeisance when the curtains swoosh open, and this would be the last time I would sing for Radhe Shyam.

This is my last time. 

Suddenly, the pain of the moment became as beautiful as cut glass.

I pray to live every day like my last.


Manivannan Sadasivam said...

Our Bharat Dessam is all eager to embrace such a wonderful devotee of Krishna :-)

A warm welcome from the land of Gods!

Jai Shree Ram!

Jay said...

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your wonderful post.
By Sri Krishna's mercy I will have the immense good fortune to join my Guru Maharaj HH Romapada Swami for a part of the South India Yatra. We are in a small university town in the US and so we have our own personal deities. We have had the pleasure of personally serving their Lordships Sri Nitai Gaura Natraj for only a few months now and it will be bitter sweet when I have to leave for the yatra.
I can therefore relate to the feelings you have so eloquently expressed.
We will be going to Chennai after the end of the yatra and I was wondering about ending a yatra just doing 'touristy' things. To my great delight I read about this temple on HG Kripamoya Pr's blog

I wonder if this temple will be on your yatra, I will especially look forward to your account of the darshan, if you indeed are blessed to visit.

Since this is not on the yatra, I am trying to prepare myself by learning from wonderful devotees like yourself and senior ones like HG Kripamoya Pr.
Apologies for the long rambling post.

in gratitude.

your servant

Jay said...

Dear Bhakti lata: Here is the suggested introduction for "Yudhisthere and the Yaksha":

To introduce to you the following play, I will read from Shrimad Baghavatam 1.11.20, Shrila Prabhupada's Purport:
"Even one hundred years ago in India, all dramatic performances were centered around the superhuman activities of the Supreme Lord. The common people would be verily entertained by the performances of dramas, and yäträ parties played wonderfully on the superhuman activities of the Lord, and thus even the illiterate agriculturist would be a participant in the knowledge of Vedic literature, despite a considerable lack of academic qualifications. Therefore, expert players in drama, dancers, singers, speakers, etc., are required for the spiritual enlightenment of the common man."

(CC. Adi-lila, 10.13, Purport):
"Dramatic performances were also enacted during the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, but the players who took part in such dramas were all pure devotees; no outsiders were allowed. The members of ISKCON should follow this example. Whenever they stage dramatic performances about the lives of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu or Lord Krishna, the players must be pure devotees. Professional players and dramatic actors have no sense of devotional service, and therefore although they can perform very artistically, there is no life in such performances."

Now, the players in the following drama will be the first to clarify that they are not a pure devotee; their special qualifications are their devotion to Krishna and Shrila Prabhupada.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.